Hydraulic vs Electric Winch: Compare Both Winch Before You Use

We have talked a lot about the bed liners to protect your truck bed against any unwanted and accidental damage due to rough roads or the cargo it is carrying. Today, we will talk about a quite different topic that is not related to your truck bed, but it is undoubtedly related to your truck, especially cargo truck, pickup truck, or a vehicle you carry in the outings. Today, we will see the comparison of hydraulic Vs electric winches that can be very useful for choosing the most suitable one for your vehicle. Let’s start then.

Hydraulic Winch Vs Electric Winch

The hydraulic and electric are the power factors of a winch. When you have to choose among these two winches, there are some factors that can help you to take a better decision.

First, let’s have brief information about both types of winches.

Hydraulic Winch

A hydraulic winch is designed especially for the heavy-duty work. You will not face the issues like overheating, structural damage, and the struggle due to the poor vehicle electrical system. If you are using a vehicle as a tow truck, then the hydraulic winch can be a good choice.

Electric Winch

An electric winch as the name suggests, use the electricity for winding up and off the cable. Mostly, the electric winch uses two motors for generating torque. Due to the lightweight and small design, electrical winches are widely used by the vehicle owners.

Comparing Hydraulic Vs Electric Winch

The things that you should keep in mind while comparing hydraulic winch and electric winch are:

  1. The power of the winch
  2. The work you will be doing with it
  3. How hard is the job?
  4. The durability of the winch
  5. Cost

Both types of winches are useful in off-road task handling. Both are reliable, efficient, and strong enough to finish the job. But, some of the factors like mentioned above can help to see the gap between their workings.


Electric winches as stated above use two motors; series wound & permanent magnet. The former type of motor is more reliable and has a high electrical power draw off. While the latter is relatively cheap, easy-to-install, and has a low electrical draw.

On the other hand, the hydraulic winches use hydraulic pressure generated by the steering pump of your truck. The fluid in the system is used to power on the winch which leads to zero electric power draw off. This system is somewhat tricky to install though.


The electric winch is easier to install. If you want to move it from one vehicle to another vehicle, then you will need to reinstall the winch part. It provides faster and efficient performance. Due to the battery usage of the car which is required to operate the electric winch, there is no need to install an additional hydraulic system for it.

While the hydraulic winch is explicitly designed to finish big jobs. You will need to install some additional equipment to use the hydraulic winch. It is more efficient than the electric winch and has more strength.

Work and Durability

You will need to minimal maintenance work while operating electrical winches, while the hydraulic winches require more maintenance care. Depending on the size of the electric winch, it will provide different ranges for pulling capacity. If your vehicle doesn’t have enough battery power, then such type of winch will stop working. One advantage is that, even if your vehicle engine is dead, an electric winch can work for a few minutes until it gets enough power from the battery. The hydraulic winch does not use the battery power and thus can provide a full and constant performance throughout the job. When you are on a rescue mission, then it is recommended to use this type of winch because it is tougher and reliable compared to an electric winch. It works slower than the electric winch though and needs a running engine to stay in working condition.


As the hydraulic winch machine needs additional equipment like hydraulic motor, pipe, fittings, and other components, it is costlier than the electric winch, almost 5 to 10 times more. But this can differ with the installation of fully-electric, hydro-electric, and pure-hydraulic winches.

Hydraulic Vs Electric Winch: Which to Use?

If you need a consistent, long-term, and hard-use winch, then you should go for the hydraulic type of winch. And if you are an off-roader, then an electric winch will be a good choice as it is not guaranteed that your vehicle will be on all the time while you stuck down in the mud!

Which type of rider are you? Which kind of winch will you install on your truck or car? Let the world know about your choice.

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